发表于: 2/08/2005 00:15 发表主题: Consumer Report - Cribs: Basic is best
引用并回复 快速引用
May 2004

Cribs: Basic is best

When you're shopping for a crib, you'll be tempted to buy the showiest model and accessories such as bumper guards and quilts that say your nursery is fit for a prince or princess.

Resist the temptation. For safety's sake, the more basic the crib, the better. It should have simple lines and no scrollwork or finials. And it should contain only a snug-fitting mattress and a crib sheet. Heeding this advice will not only get you a safer crib, but it will save you money, too. We found a CR Best Buy crib for $110. We also found several disturbing trends:

Heirloom models. While good values can be found, cribs are getting more expensive overall. Some cribs cost upward of $2,000. Such an investment is unnecessary, and it may also be dangerous because parents who pay that much may expect to pass a crib down to a friend, relative, or even future grandchild. But because safety standards for cribs are always improving, we don't recommend either lending a hand-me-down crib or using one for your baby.

Dubious designs. One potentially dangerous development we've seen is the adornment of cribs with scrollwork, overhanging edges, and finials. Children can strangle when their clothing gets caught in such detail work. That's why we recommend simple designs.

Other related products that concern us are beds that allow infants to sleep near their parents for bonding and nursing. The Bedside Co-Sleeper by Arm's Reach Concepts, $129 (not rated for this report), for example, attaches to an adult bed with belts. But it must be used with care so that the baby doesn't suffocate in adult bedding or become trapped between the Bedside Co-Sleeper and yours.

Some crib manufacturers are trying to address concerns about hardware failure. Missing and loose parts are a leading cause of accidents, including death. Kids have become trapped, for instance, between the crib mattress support and a drop side that became loose. One design solution: cribs with stationary sides, which cut down on needed hardware. Those we tested for this report were judged very good for safety, but so were models we tested with drop-down sides. Also, the stationary-side cribs were somewhat less convenient when it comes to getting baby in and out.


How to choose

The best beds for babies are cribs, which are federally regulated, rather than bassinets and cradles, for which there are only voluntary standards.

Know styles and pricing. Decisions about the finish and the type of crib you want--a model with both sides that drop so that you can get baby from either side; a crib with one side that drops; or one with stationary sides--are matters of personal preference.

For less than $200, you're likely to get a Jenny Lind-style crib, with knurled pine slats on all sides. For $200 to $399, you'll find basic styling and painted or stained softwood. For $400 and up, expect hardwood, a prestige label, and possibly a drawer under the crib, which may be part of a nursery suite.

Buy new. If at all possible, avoid buying or accepting a used crib. Older models may not meet current safety standards or may be in disrepair. If you must use an older crib, avoid those built before June 1999, when the latest voluntary standards for slat-attachment strength took effect. (Check the manufacture date on the crib label, which is required by law.) At least 11 states prohibit the sale and commercial use of cribs that don't meet federal and voluntary safety standards. Oregon also bans the sale of such cribs at garage sales. A federal bill that would ban the resale and commercial use of nonconforming cribs is in committee.

Look for hazards. Even when you're buying new, take along a soda can when you shop. If you can pass the can between the slats, they're spaced too far apart. Check for sharp edges and protruding screws, nuts, posts, and other pieces that could catch a baby's garment at the neck. Look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certification sticker on the crib or packaging. Manufacturers in the certification program are required to adhere to voluntary standards as well as mandatory standards.

In the store, pair the mattress and crib you plan to buy. If you can place more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib, the fit isn't snug enough.

Check for convenience. A crib that affords easy access to your infant will save your back. Crib sides that can be raised or lowered using only one hand are preferable. Many cribs convert to a toddler bed; your child, however, may not want to keep the same bed. Other features to look for are casters for moving the crib and a drawer or two for holding accessories.

Use it safely. Suffocation is a leading cause of death for babies. Children should be put to bed on their backs. The safest crib is one that's bare except for a mattress and fitted crib sheet. If it's cold, dress your baby in a one-piece sleeper.